September 20, 2017

Book Review: Daytime Nighttime All Through the Year

Animals are so busy! In daytime eagles dive for fish, lizards gobble insects, and tortoises dine on cactus flowers. When night falls, bats catch moths, crickets sing, and cougars prowl.  Engaging rhymes describe the action through the cycle of every day and night, as well as through each month of the year. An "Explore More" section provides teachers and parents with lots of ideas to expand on the seasonal and nocturnal themes.

5 Stars
This is an enchanting nonfiction picture book that takes the reader through the calendar year observing animals and insects in the daytime and at night. The illustrations are exactly right for this age and the light verse is easy to understand. The back of the book has teaching activities and more information. This would be a good book for science in a preschool or early elementary classroom or at home.

There are so many animals in this book that I've just included a couple. 

September 11, 2017

Children's Book Review: I Came From the Water

The story is based on the actual experiences of Moses, an eight-year-old boy, and resident of St. Helene's orphanage outside Port-au-Prince. As an infant, he was literally plucked from the waters of a nearby river, having been placed in a basket by whom we believe was his grandmother. The rest of his family perished in floods that wiped out their upland village in 2004. He was given his name by the nuns at St. Helene's. The title is Moses' reply to the author when she asked where he is from.
After the earthquake of 2010 destroyed Port-au-Prince and much of the surrounding area, the orphanage was flooded with a new wave of parentless boys and girls. Moses helped these children adapt to their new lives and in so doing displays a fearless hope and determination that may lead to Haiti's renewal as a self-support- ing nation.
St. Helene's orphanage is run by Father Rick Frechette known globally for his dedication to improving the lives of poor children across Latin America.
Net profits from I Came From the Water will go to support St. Helene's and Father Rick's efforts to help rebuild Haiti by offering a safe place to live and a free education for children like Moses.
Click Here to Pick Up This Book on Amazon

5 Stars
This is a gentle telling of the experiences of a little boy in Haiti who was found after a flood in a basket and sent to St. Helene's orphanage and then named Moses. This story is about the resilience of this little guy but also the need to help the faith community and orphanages like this one. It is well written and would be a great book to use in home, class, or Sunday school. Even though the format leans towards a picture book, I think this book would be a delight to children from preschool to third grade. 

August 21, 2017

Book Review: The Man Who Loved Libraries

When he was a child in the 1840s, Andrew Carnegie and his family immigrated to America in search of a new beginning. His working-class Scottish family arrived at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Carnegie worked hard, in factories and telegraphy. He invested in railroads, eventually becoming the richest man in the world during his time. 

Carnegie believed strongly in sharing his wealth, and one of the ways he did this was by funding the construction of over 2,500 public libraries around the world. His philanthropy completely revolutionized public libraries, which weren’t widespread at the time. 

Told in simple, lyrical text, the story unfolds against striking, stylized illustrations that transport readers to the bustle and boom of the Industrial Revolution. An informational spread explains more about Carnegie’s life and work.When he was a child in the 1840s, Andrew Carnegie and his family immigrated to America in search of a new beginning. His working-class Scottish family arrived at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Carnegie worked hard, in factories and telegraphy. He invested in railroads, eventually becoming the richest man in the world during his time.

5 Stars
The story and unique illustrations of  The Man Who Loved Libraries create a wonderful way for elementary aged children to learn about Andrew Carnegie. The overriding message of how he always gave back because of that kindness was given to him, really makes this book stick with a young reader.  After the story, there is a section describing Andrew Carnegie's legacy and some of the structures he built.

August 14, 2017

Book Review: Sing Freedom

This is a true story about Estonia, a small European nation that won its freedom from the former Soviet Union by showing that the spirit of a people is stronger than tanks and bullets. They showed their spirit by doing what they have always loved doing: raising their voices together in song. Sing Freedom! captures the essence of this successful nonviolent revolution in a format highly accessible to children. The conflict that eventually won the Estonians their freedom could have had a very violent outcome. This story tells the history of the oppression of the Estonian people and how they gained their freedom through non-violent means.

Click Here to Pick Up Sing Freedom on Amazon

5 Stars

The colorful illustrations and wonderfully told history of Estonia's musical journey to freedom make this a great selection for teaching history to children. I especially liked the point made that people sang to make a non-violent push for freedom. What a wonderful lesson to learn along side of all of the violence children are subjected to through the media and entertainment outlets. 

July 31, 2017

Chapter Book Review: Wilf the MIghty Worrier

Things Wilf was worried about before: 1. Fish sucking his toes when he goes for a paddle. 2. Garden gnomes coming to life. 3. Losing his 'How to Stop Worrying' leaflet. 
Things Wilf is worried about now: 1. Alan coming on holiday to Africa with him. 2. Alan raising an army of terrifying animals in his quest for world domination. 3. Being the only person who can stop Alan. As usual.Join Wilf on an animal-tastic jungle adventure, with laughs on every page and exuberant illustrations by the talented Jamie Littler.

4 Stars

Like many children, Wilf worries about things. Lucky for him he has a pamphlet with all kinds of strategies to help him deal with the many things that keep him awake at night. This was a cute book and the silliness of the situations would appeal to a young reader.  The characters go to Africa and are able to talk to the animals through a crazy invention. I especially liked Kevin the dog who rerouted every conversation to include giving him a dog treat.  

July 10, 2017

Chapter Book Review: Professional Gaming

Going head-to-head with a group of friends can be a lot of fun. But beating the best gamers in the world can lead to fame and fortune. The growth of E-Sports has put professional gamers on the same stage once occupied solely by athletes. Competitions, sponsorship, and live streams are all part of a lucrative career as a professional gamer.

Video games aren’t just a hobby anymore. E-Sports is on the rise and reaching people of all ages. This series looks at 4 facets of competitive video gaming: the industry, the careers, the game development, and the competition. Each book contains fast facts and in-depth sidebars, plus a glossary, an index, and places to go for more information. E-Sports: Game On! is a great mix of high-interest content with STEM connections.

Find this book on Amazon

5 Stars

So many kids love video games and dream of playing them professionally one day. This easy-to-read book explains everything about video gaming from the history right down to carpal tunnel syndrome. Boys, girls, children with learning disabilities, and children with low motivation to read would all benefit from this book. The material is organized in a logical and easy to view fashion and there are plenty of pictures to help the reader really learn about video gaming. 

June 19, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Sea Creatures in Their Own Words #2 Armed and Dangerous

Dive into the deep-end with this new series and hear from Sea Creatures, great and small, in their own words! Clown around with clownfish, float around with a puffer fish, and soar with flying fish! This fun exploration of the deep blue sea and all the marine life in it is perfect for any budding marine biologist!

The Clownfish
The Anemone
The Parrot Fish
The Mimic Octopus
The Iguana
The Cuttlefish
The Mandarinfish
The Sea Dragon
The Stingray
The Pike's Place
The Zebra Mantis Shrimp
The Remora
The Spider Crab
The Velvet Crab
The Arrow Crab
The Anilocra
and many more!

5 Stars
Science can be fun, especially when it is packaged in this colorful graphic novel! There are so many types of fish who come to life to show the dangers of the ocean it is an exciting read. Great graphic novel illustrations and wonderful information on home sharing and some of the ecological dangers that affect our oceans today. This book would be great for both readers and nonreaders and the subject matter is excellent!

Make a collage poster or bulletin board with these coloring pages

June 5, 2017

Children's Book Review: My Favorite Animal: Otters

Learn all about otters in this fun and informational text. Like all books in the My Favorite Animal Series, Otters offers engaging facts and checks the reader's knowledge and comprehension throughout the book.

Otters in Ebook Form

5 Stars

My Favorite Animal: Otters is filled with wonderful photographs of otters and short easily learned passages about their daily life.  Once a fact is given, there will be a question asked to reinforce the material. This book would work well for a classroom or a parent and child reading time. There is a glossary in the back to review unfamiliar terms used in the book.

May 22, 2017

Chapter Book Review: Abracadabra

The show must go on!
A mysterious trunk filled with props for their latest performance packs a walloping punch to the Backyard Players. When a magic wand turns out to really be magic, the friends must find a way to reverse the spell before the curtain rises.
This chapter book is perfect for fans of the Magic Treehouse series and for kids who love putting on performances.

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4 Stars
Four kids make up the Backyard Players complete with their own stage in a backyard to put on productions they write, produce and act in for friends and family. They use a magic wand for a prop and accidentally put a spell on PJ one of the Backyard Players. From there they have to figure out how to change their friend back and still perform a play that night. This was a cute story and would be an enjoyable read for any junior thespian. The children engage in problem-solving and there are some sections when they argue and have to learn to work together. 

April 30, 2017

Book Review: Dancing Paws of Magic

Dancing Paws of Magic
Deep in the countryside near Plucker’s Bottom stands Pluckerslea Hall, an English stately home dating back to the thirteenth century. Visiting furless folk are unaware of the secret tunnels that run beneath, and the music rooms, dormitories, dance studios and theatre fitted out for occupants of a much smaller stature. 

The occupants are cats! Cats wearing tights, tutus, make-up and wigs, and cats performing in ballets like Coppelia and Swan Lake. But when a beautiful gypsy cat warns of impending doom and trouble comes from the ruthless Bruiser Bumfluff, his fiendish crows and the cut-throat Black Treacle Farm Gang, the cats stop dancing, leaving their ballet master, Erico Poochetti the Shih Tzu, in tears. The future looks bleak for the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company as an evil being plots revenge, lurking in the shadows and watching their every move. 

Can the ghostly presence of a magical Irish Lepremogg restore the cats’ amazing dancing paws of magic? 

Inspired by the books of Pamela Brown, Noel Streatfield and Gladys Malvern, the second book in Maria McArdle’s Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company series tells of a friendship between animals that would otherwise be enemies and their fears and determination to preserve their magical way of life. 

Dancing Paws of Magic contains a number of Maria’s own beautiful illustrations and will be enjoyed by children aged 9-11 years with a love of dancing, theater, and cats, as well as fans of her first book, Introducing the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company.

                                             4 Stars
This book is for kids who love cats and ballet. Because of the vocabulary level, I would recommend it for a good reader in grades 3-5. It would also be a great read-out-loud. There are many unusual names in Dancing Paws of Magic so a child with dyslexia may find it frustrating.  This book has many chapters, but read aloud to children who love animals and funny situations, it would be delightful.